In a remarkable development, James Hillier has announced his move to Honda for the upcoming RST Superbike, RL360 Superstock and Milwaukee Senior TT races in 2024.  Hillier will ride the Honda CBR1000RR-R Fireblade under the banner of the newly formed WTF Racing Team.  The team, led by Alan Gardner and Paul Curran, will not only support him at the Isle of Man TT races and the North West 200, but is also planning a return to the deserts of Saudi Arabia for a second participation in the Dakar Rally in 2025.

Hillier’s past successes and the future with Honda

Hillier, the winner of the 2013 Lightweight race and holder of 14 podium finishes, all achieved with Bournemouth Kawasaki, recorded his fastest lap on the Mountain Course in 2023 at a speed of 132.702 mph. This performance earned him the title of fastest Yamaha rider.  The switch to Honda therefore marks a significant step in his career.

In his own words, Hillier comments on the switch: “After two years on the Yamaha, riding the Hondas is a new challenge that I’m really looking forward to given the recent performance of the Fireblade, whether in the Superbike or Superstock category.”

 

Technical aspects and team strategy

Interestingly, the team plans to run mainly a Superstock-spec bike in all races, but with a higher engine setting for the Superbike and Senior races.  Hillier emphasizes the advantages of this strategy: “Simplifying and maintaining a constant works better for me as it’s not easy to keep changing bikes.  It reduces the workload for everyone involved.”

 

WTF Racing’s commitment to the environment

WTF Racing is also taking a leading role on environmental issues.  With a commitment to carbon neutrality through energy efficient programs and the recycling of race components at the end of their life, the team is setting new standards in motorsport.  Alan Gardner, owner of the WTF Racing Team, underlines this commitment: “As a racing team, our focus is of course on winning races.  But at the same time, that also means winning in the race to save our planet.”

 

Looking ahead and expectations

With access to Honda’s race data from 2023, the team is well positioned to set up the Fireblade optimally.  Although plans for the two Monster Energy Supersport races have yet to be finalized, an announcement is imminent.

 

In a world of motorsport that is constantly changing, James Hillier’s move to Honda and WTF Racing not only represents a new era in his career, but also a step towards more responsible and environmentally friendly racing.

 

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James Hillier
James Hillier switches to Honda for the 2024 TT 4

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